Injured Service Members Take on Hood to Coast Relay

August 26, 2011

Rockville, MD—August 26, 2010— Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), one of the largest sporting organizations for people with physical disabilities, in partnership with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), announced it is sponsoring the first-ever team of severely injured service members from the conflicts Iraq and Afghanistan, to compete in Oregon’s iconic Hood to Coast relay race, on Friday, August 27.  

The team includes 12 runners; 11 men and 1 woman who are amputees, blind, experience post-traumatic stress disorder and other physical injuries. Equipped with the latest technology, prosthetics and adaptive equipment, these 12 undaunted service members will challenge 1,200 other non-disabled teams to the competition of their lifetime – Hood to Coast’s grueling 197-mile relay race.

The Standard has joined DSUSA and CAF to sponsor the participation of “Team Warfighter Sports”.  

“At The Standard, supporting partners that provide rehabilitation and opportunity for those with disabling injuries is an extension of our company values,” said Greg Ness, president and CEO of The Standard. “Our belief in the abilities of those with disabilities, and our deep respect for the brave men and women who serve our country, made sponsorship of these wounded warriors an easy decision.”

Disabled Sports USA’s ”Warfighter Sports Series” is a schedule of challenge events that help military service members with permanent disabilities, such as amputated limbs, spinal cord injury, visual impairment, and traumatic brain injury, train for and challenge themselves in extreme and endurance sports.

“We’re excited to partner with The Standard and provide this team the opportunity to participate in this exciting event,” said Kirk Bauer, executive director of Disabled Sports USA. “After serving thousands of severely injured service members from Iraq and Afghanistan through rehabilitation sports programs for the past seven years, our disabled veterans are now yearning for an opportunity to test their skills to the extreme, as they did in the military. Our Warfighter Sports Series provides this – helping them to not just survive their injuries, but to thrive and achieve personal and professional success.”

“Challenged Athletes Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities who desire to live active, competitive lifestyles by giving them every opportunity to compete in the sports they love” said Nico Marcolongo, CAF Operation Rebound Program Manager. “We see our partnership with Disabled Sports USA in the Warfighter Sports Series as enabling our wounded warriors to live out their love of sport and competition.”
Hood to Coast relay race begins at 6:30 a.m., Friday, August 27 at Timberline Lodge, Ore.

About Disabled Sports USA
Founded in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans, Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to rebuild their lives through sports, recreation and educational programs. DSUSA is a national multi-sport, multi-disability organization serving more than 60,000 youth and adults annually. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, DSUSA offers programs through its nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters operating in 38 states. For schedules and additional information, click here.

DSUSA is a member of the Combined Federal Campaign number: 10151

About Challenged Athletes Foundation
It is the mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation to provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. The Challenged Athletes Foundation believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.

Challenged Athletes Foundation’s®(CAF) Operation Rebound® program provides unparalleled sports opportunities and support to American troops and veterans of any branch of service, past and present, and first responders who have suffered permanent physical injuries in the line of duty. CAF’s Operation Rebound®(OR) provides support through grants which provides direct funding for the acquisition of adaptive sports equipment, training and competition expenses, mentors for physical training programs at military medical centers, beginner athlete sports clinics, and an on-line forum where Operation Rebound members and their families can stay connected.

About The Standard
StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:SFG), through its subsidiaries marketed as The Standard, is a leading provider of employee benefits and financial products and services. Insurance products are offered by Standard Insurance Company of Portland, Ore., in all states except New York, where insurance products are offered by The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York of White Plains, N.Y. The company serves approximately 8 million customers nationwide as of June 30, 2010, with group and individual disability insurance, group life, AD&D, dental and vision insurance, retirement plans products and services, individual annuities and investment advice. For more information about The Standard, click here.

The Standard is the marketing name for StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries: Standard Insurance Company, The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York, Standard Retirement Services, StanCorp Mortgage Investors, StanCorp Investment Advisers, StanCorp Real Estate and StanCorp Equities.

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Disabled Sports USA is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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